It has officially been one month since my 8-year-old has left our property. He came home from school on Friday, March 13 to begin spring break, and he has stayed home ever since. My teenager has left twice - once to pick up a pizza and once for a doctor’s appointment. I hope that things are going well for you and your family in this strange time we are living in.
One thing that I have enjoyed is more time for family walks. I’ve incorporated a couch to 5k program as part of our “home school,” and every morning at 9:00 am we head out for 30 minutes of exercise. Enthusiasm is mixed but we’re doing it anyway!
This morning, my little one raced ahead and I was left with my teenager. I asked him how school was going in his new online classroom. In typical teenage fashion, he provided pretty limited feedback, but in between grumblings and wry observations, I heard him say something that caught my attention.
“What was that?” I asked.
“What,” he replied.
“What you just said. You said you try to get back into something-mode. But I missed the first part.”
“Oh. Pilot mode. When I get off track or I get frustrated, I try to get back into pilot mode.”
I couldn’t suppress my smile, partly because I loved the idea of pilot mode and because I was so proud of him for being self-aware and pro-active. He went on to explain that he tries to remember that he is the pilot and that he needs to not get distracted from that. I asked where he learned such a cool idea and he said, “nowhere, I just made it up!”
We are surrounded by distractions, frustrations, and unknown elements that provide plenty of just cause for getting out of the pilot seat and wandering around the aircraft looking for answers, explanations, or signs that life will return to normal soon. We could turn on auto-pilot for a few minutes and indulge ourselves in that distraction, but before long we need to get back into pilot mode and take the controls again.
I asked him how he does it. “How do you get back into pilot mode?”
“I just notice that I am out of it, and I remind myself to get back in it.” That kind of non-judgemental self-awareness is a gentle and compassionate way to care for yourself. In the process of kindly redirecting yourself, you build the confidence you need to tackle difficult emotions, circumstances, and feelings.
When we got back home from our walk, I watched him run ahead of me and into the house so he could do whatever he had on his mind before signing in to school on zoom. Over the past month that we have been living in this strange time of history, I have definitely felt like we are flying our family to an unknown destination. But we have a good flight crew, and together we will land this plane safely! And so will you. Stay in pilot mode!
P.S. If you need a little help getting back into pilot mode and staying there, consider joining The Good Life! As a member, you'll get group accountability AND one-on-one coaching to help you live the way YOU desire each & every day.
It’s April 2020, and things aren’t going the way we expected. Remember January, when we were super excited about the new year and everything it held for us? We didn’t know.
Now as we sit quarantined in our homes - you’re not going anywhere, are you? - I feel a little guilty because I am not completely hating this. That’s a complicated way to feel because people are suffering, people are working really hard to keep us alive, and all I have to do is sit here at home, and I don’t hate it.
My family goes for two walks a day right now, once in the morning and then in the evening. As we left our driveway last week I noticed myself feeling wistful for the time we have together right now, and knew that I would miss it when things go back to “normal.”
I thought about the amount of time I used to spend in my car, driving Mom’s Taxi back and forth, back and forth, not accomplishing anything other than getting people to places, and getting them there late even for all of my hustle, and feeling lame for being late all the time.
I thought about how I used to feel overwhelmed by the number of things we had to do, and obligations we had or expectations we had to be places and do things. That’s gone now. No one expects us to be anywhere, we don’t have to come up with reasons why we can’t do things, and the expectation is that we are going to hole up in our nests and live our lives and tend to ourselves. And I like it.
Normal wasn’t working. Normal American life had resulted in a stressed-out, overweight, overworked, exhausted group of people who desperately needed a break, looking to other cultures for cues about how to live more simply. Now that we are being forced to live more simply, we want things to be “normal.”
I’m spending time considering how much of this new, slow, simple life I can keep, and what my new normal will be. We can create it, you know. We can say no to the old way, and stay in the new way.
What do you like about life now?
What do you not miss?
What do you not want to go back to?
What do you want to keep about this?
I’m not getting everything right in this experience. There are new frustrations and worries, and every week reveals a new wrinkle. But sometimes, I think about what parts I will keep, and what will become my new normal. A new normal. Are you brave enough to live it?
In this strange, new world, there are things I hear myself thinking that I never have before.
Who else touched this?
There’s a lot of people in that car.
Am I going to die of the Coronavirus?
That one comes up kind of a lot because I have a lung thing. I’m healthy and I take good care of myself, but sometimes even healthy people get infections, and this virus doesn’t seem to discriminate. I take comfort in hearing that most of the people who die from it have other health issues, and I don’t have other issues. I just have a lung thing.
I was born with my esophagus attached to my windpipe. No one could really explain to my parents how that happened, but luckily they were able to notice it right away and within five hours of being born, I was in surgery. One of the long-term side effects of the procedure that fixed me is a condition called bronchiectasis, which is the result of airways being damaged, putting you at higher risk of infection. Mine were damaged by having surgery on them. So, growing up I got pneumonia quite a lot, and even now when the pollen falls I get out the Mucinex. If I get sinus congestion, it invariably moves to my chest, and then if not treated turns into bronchitis, and then pneumonia.
Funny thing is, the doctors told my parents that I would never be very active. So, I really take delight in being a marathon runner, reaching the summit of a 14,000-foot mountain, and stuff like that. But, when I read about people dying from COVID-19, I wonder if I could fight it. I honestly don’t know.
But what I DO know is that for the time being, this is our life now, and I still have jobs and clients and deadlines and all of that. So, as is my way, I got out a notebook and a pen and began making lists.
I made lists of what opportunities I saw in this new lifestyle.
I made lists of my deadlines and work projects that needed to be completed and by when.
I made lists of the projects around the house that needed doing.
I made lists of what things I needed to think about.
Then, I made a schedule. Well, I made about four schedules! I made one that was all work, broken down by hour and task. Then I crumpled that up and tossed it out. Too rigid, not realistic. My next schedule was too unstructured. Finally made a schedule that I thought I would use, which included time for exercise in the morning, then set times to be at my desk working, and time to wrap it up and make dinner.
And then, that evening, I corralled my boys out for a walk around the circle that we live on. The weather was nice and breezy, and there was a calmness in the air, as if the earth was at peace. It was quiet. Really, really quiet. And as I watched my boys walking ahead of me and thought about what to make for dinner, the right schedule came to my mind.
This is an opportunity to completely change the way we live. I’ve craved a simpler life for a long time, and I have it now. It’s more complicated in some ways, but soon we will get work figured out and fall into new patterns. But I am curious to see what we don’t spend money on anymore, and how we benefit from more sleep. Our mornings can be slower, since we don’t have to rush out of the door to get to school by 8:30 am. I can do the things that usually get put off for the weekends, because I’m not driving all over creation every day. So I made a new schedule.
Personal exercise just for me.
Breakfast on the porch and checking in with my online group.
Morning couch to 5k workout with my boys.
Work projects and clients, prioritized for the day.
Lunch followed by yoga or guitar practice.
Second half of work projects.
House projects, one each day, indoors and out.
Evening walk with my boys.
TV time and in bed by 9.
Now THAT is a day I feel at peace with. Just having it on paper makes me feel more calm, organized, and energized. I encourage you to do the same - what opportunities do you see? What can you delete and bring in? What would be your ideal day, and what is stopping you from living it?
If you need a little motivation and accountability to make this happen for you, join us in The Good Life.
I know I am not the only one hammering out a blog post about COVID-19. So, I won’t pretend like I have brilliant advice that you or someone else haven’t already thought about. Many of us are in similar circumstances: suddenly housebound, contemplating homeschooling, overwhelmed with suggestions and resources, wavering between staying away from others and rushing out to help, and wondering how long it will go on. Oh, and there’s that thing about needing a paycheck!
Yesterday was pretty chaotic at my house. I had interviews to conduct, requiring active listening followed by creative writing on a deadline. I had administrative work to complete and send to others so they could do their jobs. In the midst of various closures, I needed to make phone calls and coordinate new schedules. My 8-year-old didn’t understand why we were not going on play-dates during spring break, and I felt guilty about my teenager sitting in front of video games all day. By the end of the day, I was emotionally and physically spent. Then, our pet fish died. I mean, come on!
We don’t know how long this virus is going to last or when things will get back to “normal.” But, like in my post last week about the three columns - what we can control, what we can’t, and where we are still okay - that doesn’t mean we are without any structure at all.
I laughed along with everyone else at the meme of the color-coded schedule. Mostly because I was absolutely the mom thinking that I’d make a schedule for my kids. Then I realized how completely naive that was but, today I made one. Although, it’s more of a loose framework; a to-do list that makes sure we check off the boxes of Life As We Knew It.
On my list: go running, email my best friend, meet my deadlines, and practice guitar.
For my kids: music practice, reading, a walk and some time outside doing I don’t care what until I can think again.
It’s Day 1, and it’s only 10:30, but so far it feels like a regular day off of school and I am a lot more calm. And when I am calm, everything is better. What brings you calm? What do you need to do each day to feel grounded and “normal”? Make yourself a list, and do them.
I’m an optimist, and I do believe that there will be a day relatively soon when we turn the corner and are able to loosen the restrictions that we have placed on ourselves in order to contain this virus and make it easier for medical professionals to do their work. Between now and then, there will be days when we do a great job and days when we aren’t at our best, just like before. If you're in need of an online community, join us in The Good Life! We set goals together, offer group accountability and I share ideas of how you can stay level and ride the wave. We are going to be okay!
It's not unusual these days to be reminded of the difference between what we can control and what we can't.
I remember my mom advising me when I was a kid to not worry about things I couldn't control. In my cocky youth, I thought I could control anything if I worked hard enough! Right? Wrong.
Accepting that I could not control things just because I was a hard worker was discouraging. Can't anything be possible with hard work and perseverance?
There was good news, of course. A third category exists: things that can happen and I am still ok.
It took a while for that list to develop, but in time I began to learn that some things in the list of things I can't control weren't necessarily things I had to deal with or accept in spite of my plans, but that in fact they didn't have to be anything at all.
Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that circumstances beyond our control are something to be tolerated or endured. Even acknowledging them feels like a pain. "I can't control what so-and-so says, I can only control my response." Sound familiar?
Thinking ahead about how so-and-so might say something annoying sets the expectation that not only will that happen, but that it will be bad and you'll have to respond positively. That thought took energy, and since it was a defensive thought, I'm willing to bet it was negative energy.
What if instead, so-and-so and the things they do were in a third column, a category of things that don't affect you at all? Things that are allowed to exist without you having an opinion about them?
How much energy would that save? How much energy would that free up for fun things, for creative thinking, for your own peace of mind?
Give it a try this week. Instead of categorizing events as things you either can or cannot control, let them be in the third column of things that are okay. Then, when they happen, just say "okay." Or "great." Or nothing.
Now I know what you're thinking. Not everything is okay, Heather! I know, but that's okay too. With patience and practice, when those things come up, you won't be able to say "okay" and feel okay about it. Then you'll know it's something you really have to deal with. And even then, it will be okay.
There will always be things we can control and things we can't. And there are things that just are. Open up the third column, and see who is really in control.
One of my favorite things about being a health coach is that sometimes, I get to be included in the best part of someone’s day: the part when someone listens to them, truly hears them, and gets them pointed in the right direction again. I get to be kind of like one of those big maps that you see at shopping malls, where people can get their bearings and figure out where they are and where they need to go.
And as soon as we figure that part out, I want to know the answer to a popular question: why? If someone has taken time out of their day to tell me about this idea they have for something they want to do, it must be pretty important to them. It’s been on their mind for a while. So, why? Why do you think about this? Why not just stay like you are now? And, almost everyone has the same answer: they want to feel better.
I love that answer because feeling better is great, and it’s something we can all do right away. Feeling good is easy, and we all have the skills to feel better almost instantly.
I don’t mean the way eating ice cream makes you feel better. That’s pretend. I mean the kind of feeling you get when you’ve done something that makes you feel proud, or when you have been exercising for a few weeks and you notice you have more energy in the afternoons. Even when you make the choice to skip the second helping of mashed potatoes and have some more water instead. It might not feel awesome right at that moment, but you’re glad you did it.
That brings me to my next question: what makes you feel better?
This answer brings a smile to their faces: exercise! Then the stories start to come out. “A while back I was walking every morning with my friend, I felt so much better and I really had more energy.” Or, “my physical therapist gave me these stretches to do, and when I do them I feel better, but I stopped.”
Or my favorite, “I used to exercise all the time. I even taught exercise classes! I really liked it!” This is where I do an internal high five with myself, because having previous positive experiences with healthy habits makes it so much easier to get back into them, so I know these people are about to start feeling better really soon.
And then I have to ask: why on earth did you stop doing this magical thing that made you so happy?
Studies show that the most common reason why people fall out of exercise habits is a change of environment, such as a new job; an injury or illness, whether themselves or someone they care for; or a schedule change that compromises their time. I get it. There is a lot going on.
The good news is that it doesn’t take much exercise to make you feel better. In fact, it doesn’t take much of any healthy habit to make you feel better. As soon as you start, you feel better immediately. Instant success.
Because friends, we create how we feel. The thoughts and patterns that we allow in our lives create our environment. Spend time with negative thoughts of worry and anger, and your life will be negative and dark. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and cheer you on, and your life will be light and bright.
All we have is how we feel, and how we feel is where we live.
So, if you know that there is something really easy to do that leads to you feeling good, do it. Do it every day! Then, you get to feel good every day. And you get all the credit, too!
If exercise makes you feel better, do it. If eating healthy makes you feel better, do it. The power to feel better every day is within you, and you can start now.
Not many people know this, but I can predict the future. It’s true! I can look into the future, make a prediction about what will happen, and most of the time my prediction is accurate. I can’t predict lottery tickets or the weather, nothing like that. My gift has been honed over the years of listening, watching, and learning from people and how they live.
Most of the time I keep this skill a secret from others and only use it for my own purposes. But, today I am going to share it with you. Specifically, I am going to reveal which exercise programs are going to be your favorite in 2020, and possibly beyond.
There are so many options for exercise, and they all promise to be the magic solution to overcoming all of your obstacles, so it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. But, after we gaze into my crystal ball, it will all become clear. Are you ready?
Prediction: It will be challenging, but rewardingI can’t guarantee that the first workout of the year will be fun, or that you will find your favorite one right away. But, when you do find the one that sticks, it will be because you feel great when you’re there. Exercise programs with the most longevity are those that challenge you just enough so you are looking forward to the end, and then feel really proud when you get there. I predict that your favorite exercise program this year will be one that pushes you just enough to be fun.
Prediction: It will be convenient enoughIn a perfect world, getting to your favorite exercise program would require almost no effort on your part. Can you imagine how much exercise we would all be able to do if we didn’t have to actually drive somewhere to do it? My prediction is that the workout you love is convenient enough that you can get there three to four times a week, and that there may even be times when you go more than that!
Prediction: It will include friendsSome of the most popular exercise trends of the last decade have woven a sense of community and teamwork into the business of sweating and lifting heavy things. CrossFit, Orange Theory, obstacle course races, and even online communities through game-based workouts all connect people together for camaraderie, friendly competition, and support. I don’t need my crystal ball to know that you are going to love a workout where you feel like part of a community that cares about you (and is going to ask why you didn’t show up).
Prediction: It will not hurt youNot every exercise program is for every fitness level and body. If your workout consistently leaves you aching, injured, exhausted, my bet is you won’t stick with it. My crystal ball tells me that your favorite workout in 2020 will be one that makes you stronger.
Prediction: It will be worth itYou already know that establishing a new exercise routine takes discipline, time management, and an internal desire for the benefits. I can guarantee that there will be times that even your favorite workout feels like a chore. But, it will feel worth it. At the end of 2020, when I ask you what your favorite exercise program is, you will tell me that it’s the one that is always worth it, whether that means driving across town for Zumba after work or getting up before dawn to run with friends.
That’s it. You have it now: my prediction for you this year. To be fair, there are a couple of asterisks on this glimpse into your future. It will only come true if you seek it; it does not come to you automatically. And, I make no guarantee of when it will be realized. But, it is out there waiting for you to discover it, and now that you know what you’re looking for, I’ll bet you can find it pretty quick.
Happy New Year.
Well, here we are again. When I turned on my radio last week and heard Christmas music playing, I knew that ready or not, it was the holidays.
So, I started asking my clients about how they want to spend the last six weeks of the year. Their answers were pretty standard: cooking, traveling, spending time with family, shopping, etc. It was clear they had not understood my question, so I needed to clarify what I meant.
I didn’t want to know how they expected to spend the holidays. I was curious about how they wanted to spend the holidays. What are their ingredients for a happy holiday season? How will they know that the time was well-spent? What experience do they want to have, and what do they need to do to create it?
It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it, and that’s something you can do any time of year. We don’t get to choose every circumstance of our lives, but we have more control over circumstances than we may think. So today I ask you: how do you know if you are having a happy holiday?
There are a few rules for this exercise. First, you must be specific about what brings you joy during this time of year. The more detail you can put into imagining the scents, flavors, and images of the holidays, the easier it will be to find them.
Second, you must be somewhat realistic. After all, this is Florida, so if your dream is of a snowy winter wonderland, you better have the budget and vacation time for travel. You can’t bring people back from the dead, and you have to exist in this dimension. But, other than the laws of physics and constraints of your resources, have at it.
And third, it must be self-generated. That is, nothing in your perfect holiday scene can be dependent on someone else doing something. Waiting for other people to do things in order for you to be happy is just a recipe for heartache and resentment.
OK, are you ready? Here we go.
Let’s flip the calendar a couple of pages to Jan. 1. Imagine sitting on that day in your favorite place, with a wonderful feeling of contentment wrapped around you like a blanket. Life is just peachy. Gosh, that was a wonderful holiday. Now imagine someone comes to sit next to you and they ask, “how was your holiday?” And you say, “it was just wonderful,” and then begin to paint the scene. What, specifically, made it so wonderful?
When I think about this question, my mind reminisces about hearing jingle bells on the doorknobs of the house, making treasured family recipes to share with others, decorating my home like we live in the Biltmore, and smelling cinnamon, orange, and clove simmering on the stove. I like to have clinked glasses with friends and family, witnessed the magic of the season through childrens’ eyes, and indulged enough to feel fancy while still fitting into my jeans in January.
If those things have happened by Dec. 31, I feel good.
Now, there are other things that make the holidays nice, too. Children being polite and gracious to their elders, no one getting sick, family members not discussing politics, no car trouble on the way to Grandma’s, good weather, my husband buying the correct gift for me, my kids eating the fancy food I have made, the music at church being exactly the kind I like, the lines at the stores not being too long, and seeing the correct reactions to all of the gifts that I have purchased for others, to name a few. But we’ve already discussed that.
Now let’s zoom back in the calendar to the present day. You’ve just painted that picture of the events of the coming weeks that led to that feeling of contentment. Now it is time to make it happen. What do you need to do to ensure that the elements that made you feel so happy can actually take place? You’ve identified your priorities, so now schedule them.
For me, staying active is key, because I like to indulge a little without gaining weight. That means I need to stick to my exercise routine and maybe even bump it up a little to account for extra nibbles. I may even take a day off during the week when I can bake, listen to carols, make my simmer pot, and decorate my house.
When visiting my family, I enjoy sliding to the background to observe everyone as they interact together, watching the kids play with snow globes when they think the grown-ups aren’t watching.
Then, when we get the flat tire, or my kids dash off without saying thank you, and no one eats the meal I have made, it’s OK, because that’s not what I needed for a happy holiday.
What future will you create this year? You can craft it yourself, set the stage, and enjoy the show. Keep it specific, realistic, and intrinsic, and maybe even Santa will ask for your secret.
As a child of the 1980s, I spent a lot of time on my bike. I lived in a medium-sized town and didn’t think twice about getting on my bicycle and setting off for some exploring, my parents none the wiser as to my whereabouts. I never went too far and came home before the street lights came on, and everything turned out fine.
While riding along one of the main roads in town, I would from time to time see random mailboxes interspersed between businesses, nestled into the trees that lined the sidewalk. A long, narrow driveway would follow, and I would strain my eyes to look through the trees and see what was back there. A house, no doubt.
I imagined there were mansions owned by eccentric, wealthy people, and wanted to ride down the driveway to see. But I didn’t trust that I could pedal fast enough to outrun whatever lay at the end. So I just peered as far as I could, and then got back on my bicycle seat, pushed off, and kept pedaling.
When I visit now, I go running on that road. And yes, when I run past those driveways I still crane my neck to see what’s back there. Now I assume they are probably old houses that have been added on to over the decades so they ramble and stretch across a little patch of land that feels like it is miles away from civilization even though it is just a football field’s distance from a highway. Sometimes I think that when I get home I will look it up on Google Earth and see, but then I forget.
I thought about those trees last week when I was out running with my friends and commented that soon the trees in the neighborhoods would lose their dead leaves and we would be able to see more wildlife walking around in the greenspaces. At least I hoped we would. When I said it, I remembered straddling my bike as a kid, catching my breath as sweat ran down my forehead, wondering what was behind those trees.
And then I smiled to myself because I had thought of something I wanted to ask you.
I decided that I wanted to ask you if you ever notice times in your life when you can see something more clearly after something else has fallen away. Like how when dead leaves fall from trees and we can more easily see what had been concealed, perhaps we need things to die in our lives so we can see and focus on something else.
I wonder if the things that keep us from connecting with ourselves on an authentic level are like leaves on the trees of our lives. Imagine the doubts, negative thoughts, excuses, uncertainties, and wounds from past failures — all of the layers we put on ourselves for protection from vulnerability — being like leaves that hide the bare branches and trunk that we would be without them.
Imagine what would happen if they fell off.
What could you see if you let the leaves of doubt fall? What could you see if you let the leaves of negative self-talk fall? What could you see if you let the leaves of excuses fall?
You would see the most permanent part of you - your core; your trunk. Like leaves on a tree, the doubts, negative thoughts, excuses, uncertainties, and past wounds of our lives are temporary, here for a season and then ready to fall away so we can start anew.
As we approach the end of the year, I invite you to notice if there are leaves that you need to shed. Perhaps you have old habits that don’t serve a purpose anymore. Maybe you have a familiar litany of reasons why you can’t take the next step. Let those leaves fall. When you don’t want to, remind yourself: it's just for a season.
Because we all know that they’ll be back. In the spring, green shoots will emerge and become new leaves that will be shed in their own time. And between now and then will be a time for you to just be your trunk. The dead weight will have been shed and you can just be...you.
I hope that this year you let the leaves fall, and with the curiosity of a child, peer through the branches to see who you are back there. I’ll bet that someone in your life has been wondering for a long time.
When I was a kid, we used to sing a song in church called, “Deep and Wide.” You probably know it, too:
Deep and wide
Deep and wide
There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide…
We would sing it with hand motions, and I remember being a little bit amused by the lyrics. Did the fountain need to be both deep and wide? Intellectually, I knew that the point of the song was that God’s love was never-ending, but my rascally brain couldn’t help but wonder, “what if the fountain was just wide? Would we reject it?”
The same thought came to mind this week when a friend lamented the recent loss of a job. Evaluating his options, he began to network and schedule meetings with friends in his field of work, and crossed his fingers that one of them would be fruitful, and soon.
A few short-term freelance opportunities looked promising, but he was anxious. After all, he said, “I need a full-time job!”
“Negative,” I texted back. “You only need that to support the life you currently have. You could change your life. Think wide.” And the song came back.
We’ve all had the rug pulled out from under us, and immediately gone to work putting things back the way they were. Our lives are deep. We have layers of responsibility, tradition, obligation, relationships, comfort, and safety. So often we decide that the life we have created is the only way we want to live, so we insulate ourselves in layers of what we know. We live deep.
But deep can also be dark, and we can get so far down into our lives that we can no longer see what is next to us. Things that didn’t even exist when we started digging our deep lives. Opportunities that we don’t know about. Entire ways of living that never occurred to us.
What if life was wide instead? What if, instead of working to maintain the deepness of our lives, we climbed up and lived shallow?
That sounds bad, doesn’t? Living shallow? Who wants that? You’re right. Shallow doesn’t work. Let’s say, “living wide.” Wide is better.
Living wide means maybe those short-term freelance gigs are really rewarding and connect you with new people who hire you for other gigs, and you’re suddenly not tied to office hours and can pick up your kids from school.
Living wide might mean that on Monday you go for a walk with friends, and on Tuesday you go to the gym, and on Thursday you take a yoga class, and break out of your exercise rut of must-burn-calories-for-an-hour.
Living wide might mean that you get there when you get there and enjoy the journey, which is all we have promised to us anyway. Wide does not mean shallow — it does not mean living irresponsibly or without a safety net or a backup plan — it means being able to see the safety net.
What would it mean for you to live wide? Imagine climbing out of your hole and stretching your arms out as wide as you can, your fingers feeling like they are getting longer and longer. Have you been living a deep but narrow life? Is it dark down there?
Come up and look around.